Samsung Adds Sony As New Galaxy S8 Battery Supplier

Samsung isn’t in mood to take any chances with the safety of the next-gen Galaxy S8. The Korean company cannot afford another Galaxy Note 7-like disaster, which was caused by faulty batteries from Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology. Multiple sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Samsung had added Sony as the third battery supplier for the Galaxy S8.

galaxy s8
Image Credit: Samsung Display via YouTube (Screen grab)

Sony gets only a small portion of orders

Sources told the publication that Samsung has already contracted Sony to make batteries for its next-gen flagship smartphone. The other two suppliers are said to be Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology. Both of them had supplied faulty batteries for the Note 7. But Samsung and its suppliers have since beefed up quality assurance and safety procedures to avoid a repeat of the Note 7 debacle.

Sony has reportedly grabbed only a small portion of the total order. Samsung was impressed with the performance and reliability of the Japanese company’s lithium-ion batteries. Earlier this month, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Samsung was in talks with Murata Manufacturing for the supply of Galaxy S8 batteries. Nikkei added that Murata would be responsible only for 2%-8% of the total orders.

Neither Sony nor Samsung has confirmed the supply agreement. Interestingly, Murata acquired Sony’s lithium-ion battery division in July last year. The deal is yet to be completed. Once antitrust regulators approve the acquisition, Murata will take over from Sony. It means Sony would benefit from the Samsung orders only for a limited time.

Galaxy S8 price, color options leaked

A Ukranian retailer’s database has listed the price and color variants of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. Both the handsets would be available in Black, Gold, and Orchid Gray colors, at least in Ukraine. The Galaxy S8 would cost UAH 25,999 ($950) and its bigger sibling would be priced at UAH 28,999 ($1050). It’s worth pointing out that smartphones are more expensive in Europe than in North America due to higher taxes.

Samsung is set to announce the Galaxy S8 at an Unpacked event on March 29th in New York City. The phone would go on sale on or around April 21st. The Korean electronics giant has traditionally unveiled new Galaxy S handsets at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). But the company had to delay the S8 release so that it could find out and fix the problems that caused the Note 7 to explode. Samsung is still rumored to show a one-minute video teaser on Galaxy S8 at its MWC event on February 26.

Both the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch S8 Plus would come with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant that would be able to communicate in eight languages. Bixby is said to be more advanced than Apple’s Siri. It will be compatible with all the native apps on Galaxy S8.